Shearwater

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Title

Shearwater

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Shearwater

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Aithyia (αἴθυια).

A poetic word, of uncertain or indefinite meaning.
Probably a large Gull, e.g. Larus Marinus, the Black-backed Gull (Sundevall), or Larus Argentatus, the Herring Gull (Krüper), the former being rare in Greece. Νetolickaʼs hypothesis of the Merganser, and that of Groshans that it was a Diver or Grebe, do not tally with Αristotle : Schneiderʼs identification with the Skua, Lestris Parasiticus, fails, inasmuch as the latter does not dive (vide Buchholz,op.cit. pp. 112, 113) nor does it breed in the Mediterranean. The Herring Gull is abundant during the winter and breeds about the middle of April: the Common Tern (Sterna anglica) lays about the same time (Krüper) but in the lagoons and not on the cliffs.

References

Οdyssey. 5. 337 and 353. Aristotle, History of Animals, 5.9, 542b: "The aithyia, or diver, and the larus, or gull, lay their eggs on rocks bordering on the sea, two or three at a time; but the gull lays in the summer, and the diver at the beginning of spring, just after the winter solstice, and it broods over its eggs as birds do in general. And neither of these birds resorts to a hiding-place." (ἡ δʼ αἴθυια καὶ οἱ λάροι τίκτουσι μέν ἐν ταῖς περὶ θάλατταν πέτραις, τὸ μέν πλῆθος δύο ἢ τρία· ἀλλʼ ὁ μέν λάρος τοῦ θέρους, ἡ δʼ αἴθυια ἀρχομένου τοῦ ἔαρος...) [cf. Mergus, Plin. x. 32 (48)] εὐθὺς ἐκ τροπῶν. οὐδέτερον δέ φωλεύει. Also idem 1, 487; 8.3, 593 b. Αrrian, Peripl. ed. Didot, 1855, i. p. 395, names it with λάροι and κορῶναι αἱ θαλάσσιοι, and Hesych. renders aἴθυιαι by εἰνάλιαι κορῶναι. Frequent in the Gk. Anthol.; e.g. Glauc. vi, vol. iii. p. 58 ὄλετο γὰρ σὺν νηὶ, τὰ δʼ ὁστέα ποῦ ποτʼ ἐκείνου fπύθεται, αἰθυίαις γνωστὰ μόναις ἐνέπειν, cf. Marc. Arg. xxxi, ibid. ii. p. 250; Callim. xci; Leon. Tar. xci, Gk. Αnthol. i. p. 178 τὸν αἰθυίης πλείονα νηξάμενον: Anon. ibid. iv. p. 143 σήραγγος ἀλίκτυπον ὁς τόδε ναίεις εὐστιβές ἀἰθυίαις ἰχθυβόλοισι λέπας. Phile, De Anim. Pr. 68o, is hostile to πελαργός and κρέξ. Is said to be deaf and dumb, Aristoph. Hist. Anim. Epit. i. 141. The metamorphosis of Hyperippa, daughter of Munychus, Νicander ap. Anton. Lib. Met. 14. Αrat. Phen.918, a sign of rain; πολλάκις δʼἀγριάδες νῆσσαι εἰναλίδιναι οἴθυιαι χερσαῖα τινάσσονται ππrερύγεσσιν: cf Theophr. De Sign. ii. 28, Virg. Georg. i 362. Α lοng but unsatisfactory description in Dion. De Avib. ii. 5. Α title or epithet of Athene, Paus. 1.5.3 , 1.41.6. Said to be the name of a horse in Mnasalc. xiii.Gk. Anthol. i. p. 125. See also δύππτης, λάρoς.

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“Shearwater,” Glossary of Greek Birds, accessed January 19, 2020, https://perseidsbirds.omeka.net/items/show/1.

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